12-Hour Program

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Why You Should Attend

Millions of Californians are unrepresented in Family Court matters (estimated 80% of litigants are unrepresented). Low-income clients are in desperate need of your pro bono help.  Attend this two-day program for an introduction to family law practice and then volunteer with your local legal services agency to represent low-income family law litigants in need.

What You Will Learn

After completing the program, participants will be able to:

  • Address the various challenges and barriers that low-income litigants and domestic violence survivors face in their family law cases
  • Recognize the signs of trauma and implement strategies for effective and trauma-informed client interviewing
  • Draft pleadings to initiate the various types of family law cases, including dissolutions and domestic violence restraining orders
  • Understand the process for obtaining custody and visitation orders and the role of mediation in various counties
  • Apply relevant statutory and case law protecting domestic violence survivors and their children in custody and visitation cases
  • Write safe and detailed custody and visitation agreements and proposed orders
  • Draft Requests for Orders, including temporary emergency (ex parte) orders, for child custody and visitation and child and spousal support
  • Understand community property division in low-income cases and effectively draft motions and judgments allocating property acquired during the marriage
  • Complete all Judicial Council Forms required at every stage of the dissolution including financial disclosures
  • Differentiate between the different pathways to judgment in dissolution cases: contested, uncontested, simple default and default with agreement
  • Draft settlement conference statements and prepare for mandatory settlement conferences
  • Manage trial preparation and represent low-income family law litigants at short and law cause hearings and trials

Who Should Attend

Anyone interested in providing pro bono assistance to low-income family law clients in California (whether limited scope family law matters or full representation in a dissolution matter) would benefit from attending.  The program is appropriate for new attorneys and more experienced practitioners looking to volunteer with nonprofit legal services agencies who can provide ongoing mentorship and support.

Credit Details

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